Great Dane – Everything You Need To Know

great dane

Great Danes are easily recognized for their massive size. As one of the largest dog breeds, Great Danes portray strength and protection, but are surprisingly an extremely gentle animal. Although they will guard their families fiercely, they are patient and kind with young children and enjoy making new friends in both humans and animals.

History & Origin

The Great Dane is believed to be the child of an English Mastiff and an Irish Wolfhound. As a large and easily trained breed, the Great Dane has been frequently used as a working dog in hunting and policing. The Great Dane originated in Germany in the 1800s and quickly rose to popularity.


Great Danes are extremely large dogs that are both strong and graceful. They have long longs and a long neck that contribute to the size of the Great Dane.

There are a number of color variations that a Great Dane can come in. The standard colors for a Great Dane include black, black and white, blue, brindle, fawn, harlequin, mantle, merle, and white. Other possible colors for a Great Dane include blue and white, blue brindle, chocolate, chocolate and white, chocolate brindle, mantle merle, merlequin, and silver.

It is also common for Great Danes to have markings. The standard markings for a Great Dane includes black markings, black mask and white markings but other possible markings for Great Danes can be blue markings, blue mask, brindle markings, chocolate markings, chocolate mask, fawn markings, merle markings and piebald.


Great Danes are a part of the working class of dogs, so while they are very friendly, they are also extremely protective. When adopted into a family, a Great Dane will believe it is his duty to protect their owners. Great Danes will be cautious of strangers at first, but once they realize they are not a threat, they will be very friendly.


Great Danes are one of the largest dogs around. A full grown male Great Dane will grow to be 35 inches in height and weigh between 130 and 180 pounds. Female Great Danes will be slightly smaller, growing between 31 and 33 inches tall and weighing between 100 and 150 pounds.


Great Danes will need to make routine trips to the vet to maintain their health. Owners should also frequently check their pets for fleas, ticks, heartworm, or other parasites that could compromise the health of the dog. Spotting and treating these conditions early can keep both the dog and owners as comfortable as possible.

Great Danes are also prone to developing common canine diseases, including hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease, and cardiac disease. But because Great Danes grow so quickly, they can experience growing pains, so it isn’t totally uncommon to see a Great Dane puppy limping.

One of the most common conditions associated with growing Great Danes is called panosteitis. Panostetis occurs when the long bone becomes inflamed and can be extremely painful. Thankfully, a vet can prescribe medication to bring down the inflammation and reduce the pain.

Owners of Great Danes should know the various canine conditions that the dogs can develop as well as the signs and symptoms of these conditions. Knowing the signs of various diseases can ensure treatment is provided as soon as possible and assist in a full recovery.


The massive size of a Great Dane makes them more difficult to take care of than other dogs. They will need more space at home and can prove to be too much for individuals without the strength to control a Great Dane. But for someone who is fully prepared for the challenges, a Great Dane can be an excellent dog.

Great Danes need some exercise, so while they will need to be walked every day, they usually will not look for additional physical stimulation. Great Danes want to care for their owners and will not look to make things difficult for their families, but those considering adopting a Great Dane will need to consider the commitment it takes to care for an animal that size before making their choice.


Great Danes grow extremely quickly and are very large dogs when they reach full size, so they will need an adequate amount of food to stimulate and maintain healthy growth. Owners of Great Danes will need to pay close attention to the nutritional value of the food they give their dogs.

Great Dane owners worried about meeting the dietary needs of their dog should discuss proper meals with their vet. A vet can assist in creating a feeding schedule that ensures the Great Dane gets the correct amount of food. It is not uncommon for the feeding schedules and needs of a Great Dane to change as the dog grows.

As with all dogs, Great Danes will need fresh water periodically throughout the day. Because Great Danes are prone to gas and bloating, owners should prevent their Great Dane from exercising after eating a meal. Owners should also do everything they can to prevent their Great Dane from becoming overweight, as it can be difficult for the large dogs to lose the extra pounds.


Great Danes have short coats that only require occasional grooming. Although their grooming needs are few, it can still be difficult to properly groom a Great Dane because of their large size.

Great Danes will need their coats brushed regularly. They will also need their ears checked for a buildup of wax or dirt that can cause painful infections. The breed should also have their nails clipped to prevent cracking and their teeth brushed to eliminate the risk of gum infection.


Even though Great Danes are very large and can be intimidating, they care deeply about the families that welcome them. They are patient with young children who might be tempted to pull at their ears or climb on their backs, making them an excellent addition to any family.

Because Great Danes are so gentle and caring, they also make great therapy dogs.